Governor’s Cup Road Race 2018; Registration is Open!

The Lexington Medical Center Governor’s Cup Road Race will be held on May 18-19, 2018, and super early bird registration fees are now available through August 31, 2017.  The following super low prices apply:  Half Marathon $40, 5K Run/Walk $20, Main street Mile $15, combo Half Marathon and Main Street Mile $50, and combo 5K and Main Street Mile $30.  Register now at the lowest possible pricing.

Governor’s Cup 2017

Thank you to everyone who toed the start line to run or walk the 2017 Governor’s Cup.  An extra special thanks to those who took a few minutes to fill out our survey.  Your responses help us put together the best possible events every year.

2017 Event Summary

The Lexington Medical Center 45th annual Governor’s Cup Road Race took place on May 19 and May 20, 2017. This is our second season as a spring race that is held the first Saturday after Mother’s Day. Events include a Main Street Mile on Friday evening with Kid’s Open and Elite divisions. On Saturday, we had the half marathon and 5k events. Both the Main Street Mile and Half Marathon were State Championship events for the Road Runners Club of America.

Running at age 70 and beyond, and Henry Holt Profile

The benefits of running into your 70s and beyond are well researched.  In a Runner’s World February 13, 2008 article, Running Your Best In Your 70s and Beyond, it is stated that ”Researchers have concluded that regular physical activity decreases risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all other age-related causes of death by 25 percent and increases life expectancy by up to two years.”

In an article published by The Atlantic on April 22, 2015; Running into Old Age, they state; “Research has shown that exercise can help maintain physical fitness that may otherwise be lost over time.  A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself”.  The Atlantic quotes a 2014 review article on aging and exercise, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, which concludes. “The prevalence of age-related chronic diseases and physical dysfunction is substantially reduced or even absent in older adults who continue to train and compete in athletic competitions”.

Races everywhere are increasing their participation level in all the older age groups.   At the 2017 Governor’s Cup Road Race we had 16 finishers over the age of 70.  One finisher was over 80, Henry Holt age 81.  Another two finishers are age 79 and will be in the 80 plus division within a year.  In this article, we will profile Henry Holt; but will do some follow up articles that will highlight Jesse Smarr and other local runners over 70.

Henry Holt

Henry Holt, local runner, has overcome many medical conditions over the years.  He is a 17-year prostate cancer survivor, he has had a pacemaker for about 20 years, and has a stent in his right leg for five years.  

Henry started running in 2007 at the age of 71.  His daughter invited him to go run a 5k race with her, as Henry states, it was a “misery loves company type of invite”.  Henry won his age group and has been hooked on running ever since.  His daughter no longer runs.

Henry celebrates his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Margaret this August.  When asked about whether Margaret has been a runner, Henry states that “running wasn’t really her thing.  She did run some and they enjoyed running together in places like Riverfront Park while she was running”. Henry and Margaret have four daughters and nine grandkids.  Asking Henry whether he was trying for a son in getting four girls, he said “yes, but the deal breaker was on the third child where they had twin girls and decided they better quit when they started coming in twos”.

Henry is a member of the Columbia Running Club.   He loves the CRC and the Columbia running community.  He states that “he has never met a runner that was not positive and loves how everyone is always very encouraging”.

Henry is a very fit and tough runner for age 81 as he ran the Quarry Crusher run on March 25, 2017.   This course takes you through the Vulcan Quarry in the Olympia area, and is ~3.72 miles which takes you to the bottom of the quarry at 400’ below sea level and brings you back out of the quarry with a grade over10 degrees.  One trip through was not enough for Henry as he did the Double Crusher completing the circuit twice for ~~ 7.44 miles!

Henry is not only fit and tough, but he is very fast!  His first Governor’s Cup half marathon was in 2007 where he ran a 1:59:25. He again broke 2 hours and accomplished his best Governor’s Cup time of 1:57:55 in 2009.   He also qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon in 2008.

Henry currently has state records for age 80-84 in the 8k (47:31), 12k (1:17:25), and half marathon (2:19:58) set at this year’s Governor’s Cup.  He would like to break the 10k and 5k records this year.  He would need to knock a little time off the 10k to break 58:46, the current record.  Henry states that “he struggles with speed and will need to take off over two minutes in the 5k to get his time under the current record of 26:39”.

Henry is doing a little more speed work lately to prepare for the faster 10k and 5k.  He runs his 4.53 mile home course in the Mineral Springs and Leaphart Road area of West Columbia several times a week.  A couple times a week, he will do ~ ½ mile pushes working near 8:00 per mile pace, and then slow and recover for ~ ½ mile.

In addition to setting the 10k and 5k records, Henry plans to set the marathon age group record at Kiawah this December by breaking 5 hours.  The current record is over 6 hours.

Henry is an amazingly fit man at the age of 81.  He is sure to be pushing through new goals and accomplishments for many years.  No doubt, he will be enjoying great-grandchildren as he sets a great example for them on how to live a long and healthy life.


Henry's Fastest Marathon: 4:10:16 at the Airforce Marathon

Governor’s Cup Road Race Trivia

The first person who gets this correct will win a free entry to the 2018 Governor’s Cup Road Race.  To win, you must be the first person to post the correct answer on our FB page.  Here is your question:

Question: Who set the world record as the oldest female marathon and half marathon finisher.  We would like her name and her age when she set the records.